Usually I hit the mute button when commercials come on the TV. But the other day I didn’t and I heard the soundtrack backing a furniture company’s ad showing all manner of home furnishings. A group was singing urgently in the background, “I want it all! I want it all! I want it all! And I want it now!”
Oh my, that could be the theme song for American consumerism. We have an economy built on spending more and more money on more and more things. We are told to go and spend as it helps the economy. There are constant ads everywhere backed by research to see how to urge, encourage or promote people buying all this stuff. We live in an area where the population is declining and average family income is dropping and still they build more and more malls, stores and shops.
This season of Lent is a time when we are called by the church to assess where we are in life and what are the important and lasting values, and what we want to have more of in our life. I doubt for most if us that more furniture is all that high on the scale of what we want more of. For most of us those sorts of things we want more of are not things at all but good life-giving relationships, a life in which we find meaning, and a sense of purpose.
Promises that we should want it all and can have it all – let along have it all now are bogus. Made to tempt us to put our money and trust in things to give us life. Things don’t give us life they only give us stuff.
May the balance of Lent and the Easter season be a time when you get more of what you want and need – so you don’t have to “want it all” as compensation for not having what you really do want and need.